WASHINGTON - United States President Donald Trump is leaving the Group of Seven (G-7) meeting in Canada earlier than scheduled – which means he may arrive in Singapore for his much-anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a few hours earlier than initially planned on Sunday (June 10).
His route from Canada, and his new arrival time in Singapore, were not announced.
The President's previous departure time was set at 2.15pm on Saturday (2.15am Sunday Singapore time) and he had been expected to land in Singapore at 11pm on Sunday.
"President Trump will depart the G-7 summit at Charlevoix at 10.30am Saturday (10.30pm Saturday Singapore time), following the session on Women's Empowerment," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "The President will travel directly to Singapore from Canada in anticipation of his upcoming meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un Tuesday."
The White House did not give any reason for the early departure. The G-7 summit is scheduled to wrap up later on Saturday.
The US deputy assistant for international economic affairs Everett Eissenstat will represent the US for the remainder of the sessions.
Mr Trump was reportedly not keen on attending the G-7, some reports earlier said. He is in for arguments with allies annoyed at the US' unilateral imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US, citing the need to protect America's domestic steel industry as a matter of national security.
Soon after the announcement of his early departure, he tweeted: "Why (aren't) the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the US. Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies. Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!"
It is the third in a series of tweets aimed at allies who have reacted sharply to his tariffs on aluminium and steel in particular.
“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers,” he tweeted earlier. “The EU trade surplus with the US is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”
Hours later, he sarcastically tweeted: “Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the US and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things... but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!”
His tweets came as French President Emmanuel Macron threatened to exclude the United States from the G-7’s final statement, saying in his own tweets that while Mr Trump may not mind being isolated, the other six leaders meeting in Canada would also not mind signing an agreement among themselves.
At a joint press conference with Mr Macron earlier in Ottawa, Mr Trudeau said: "American jobs are on the line because of his (Mr Trump’s) actions and because of his administration.
"When we can underscore this, and we see that there's a lot of pressure within the US, perhaps he will revise his position."
Mr Macron said: “A trade war doesn't spare anyone. It will start to hurt American workers. The cost of raw materials will rise and industry will become less competitive.”
Mr Trump will leave Washington early on Friday and have bilateral meetings with Mr Macron and Mr Trudeau at the G-7 the same day. He will then depart for Singapore the next morning.